The health impacts of public transport

Authored by: Melanie Crane , Christopher Standen

The Routledge Handbook of Public Transport

Print publication date:  May  2021
Online publication date:  May  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367418724
eBook ISBN: 9780367816698
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter discusses the health impacts that are associated with public transport, and their implications. Public transport can benefit the health of the population and improve health equity through enabling access to health and community services, improving social cohesion and encouraging participation in active travel. A public transport trip invariably involves some active travel – and this is an easy way for people to achieve levels of physical activity necessary to reduce their risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and some cancers. By improving the walkability of an area, public transport can provide additional health advantages, such as reducing the need for private motor vehicles, creating greater community wellbeing. Health risks are also explored in this chapter, including the risk of injuries, exposure to noise and air pollution and transmission of infectious diseases. The chapter explores the evidence for these benefits from international research across the range of public transport modes and discuss the current gaps in the literature.

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